Atlanta hosts the Pacers
(Sports Network) – The Indiana Pacers have two games left on their schedule
and hit the road tonight to take on the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.
Indiana had its streak of reaching the postseason nine straight times come to
an end when Orlando posted a victory over Boston on Sunday. The Pacers have
lost two straight and three of their last four games.
In Sunday’s 111-107 setback to the New Jersey Nets, Jermaine O’Neal netted 20
points, while Danny Granger and Troy Murphy each had 17 for the Pacers. Mike
Dunleavy chipped in 15 points, Darrell Armstrong added 13 and Shawne Williams
finished with 12 points in defeat.
The Pacers, who are 13-27 on the road this season, will wrap up the 2006-07
schedule on Wednesday versus the Washington Wizards within the friendly
confines of Conseco Fieldhouse.
Meanwhile, Atlanta will close out yet another disastrous season. The Hawks
will miss the playoffs for the eighth straight year, and hasn’t reached the
postseason since the 1998-99 campaign. At least they will finish with the best
record since the 2002-03 squad went 35-47.
Atlanta has lost three in a row and 11 of its last 13 games, including
Monday’s 102-96 setback to the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center. Marvin
Williams had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead Atlanta, while Josh Smith
added 17 points and 10 boards and Shelden Williams had 16 points and 17
rebounds for the Hawks, who have dropped 13 in a row on the road, ending their
road schedule with a 12-29 mark.
The Hawks are 17-23 at Philips Arena this season. Head coach Mike Woodson is
not expected to be on the bench for tonight’s game because of food poisoning.
Assistant Larry Drew, who replaced Woodson in the loss to Milwaukee, will lead
the team again this evening.
Tuesday’s showdown between Indiana and Atlanta is the fourth and final meeting
of the season. The Pacers are 3-0 so far in the series and have won 10 of 14
and 12 of the last 18 meetings.
Indiana has won five of its last seven at Philips Arena.